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Waikato Management School
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MBM Success Stories

Rashmi Singh - Sales Consultant, Kaon Security | Indian
Nitika Bothra - Asset Data Analyst, Auckland City Council | Indian
Deep Rastogi - Business Advisor, Ernst and Young | Indian
Razel Blaza - Aspiring Marketing Manager | Asian
Eline Yan - Aspiring Leader | Chinese
Michael Sparrow - Business Analyst, Air New Zealand | New Zealander
Saul Wells-Lakeland - Graduate Sales and Marketing, RB | British, New Zealander
Cassandra Suemai - Aspiring Hotel Owner and Manager | Samoan
Chynelle Tuhi - Aspiring Manager in Agribusiness or Tourism | New Zealand Maori
Jeremy Tomkins - Aspiring School Principal | New Zealander
Anton Baker - Graduate Position at Zespri | New Zealander
Keerthana Suresh - Project Manager | Indian
Lucia Liu - Graduate Position at Zespri | Chinese
Blake Johnson - Project Coordinator, Fletcher Building | New Zealander

Rashmi Singh

Rashmi SinghHaving a Master of Business and Management (MBM) from the University of Waikato added the ideal business edge to Rashmi Singh’s CV.

Rashmi already has a degree in engineering, and wanted to develop her business and leadership skills to open up more career opportunities. The MBM was definitely the right choice to help her achieve this.

Members of her family had visited Waikato during a vacation, and loved the beautiful campus, great reputation, and friendly lecturers, which helped Rashmi make her final decision to study here.

Rashmi says although the MBM was challenging, it had a great balance between individual assignments, team work and practical internships which really prepared her for her future career. It also helped her be more open to other ideas, and develop new ways of problem solving.

In her current role as a Sales Consultant, Rashmi works to generate new business opportunities in New Zealand and Australia for Kaon Security, who specialise in the more human side of information security for government and commercial enterprise. Over the next five years, Rashmi hopes to build on her learning from the MBM and move into a higher role within the company.

Nitika Bothra

Nitika BothraOur Triple Crown Accreditation made Waikato Management School a clear choice for Nitika Bothra

After completing her masters in economics, Nitika realised she wanted to pursue the more practical side of management. The Master of Business and Management (MBM) ticked all the boxes with the perfect balance of classroom learning and internships.

Nitika enjoyed being able to experience different areas of management, and says the MBM definitely helped her progress her career further. During the MBM, Nitika completed an internship with the State Bank of India Auckland office, and presented a business idea to a panel of top Waikato entrepreneurs, where she was awarded “Most Innovative Venture”.

She’s now working as an Asset Data Analyst for the Auckland City Council. This role requires Nitika to ensure all of the company’s asset information records are maintained and updated. Nitika’s met people from all over New Zealand, with backgrounds in many different areas, meaning she gets to keep learning new things even after study

Working as a data analyst was Nitika’s number one goal before completing her MBM. Now she’s already achieved this, she has her eyes set on completing an MBA through Waikato and becoming a Project Manager.

Deep Rastogi


Deep's love of travelling and meeting people from different cultures made him a prime candidate to study for his Masters, as an international participant. Deep chose New Zealand as his study destination because of its friendly and peaceful people, and the nurturing study environment. On an academic level, the Waikato Management School was Deep's first choice. Being the No.1 ranked researched-based business school in New Zealand, coupled with the added advantage of gaining a Triple Accredited degree, Deep was confident he would get a world class education here... and he feels that was exactly what he got!

Excelling in Part One of the MBM programme, Deep won the MBM Living Allowance Scholarship for international students, worth $10,000. This scholarship meant more to Deep than just financial support, as it was awarded to him by a selection committee comprised of lauded academics and professionals.

Deep also believes that the quality of the Waikato Management School's MBM programme comes from its dedicated professors, and the courses that they have constructed. Being an international participant, Deep describes his professors as going 'above and beyond' what he expected, to assist students. One of the aspects of the MBM that Deep valued the most was the Excellence Series Lectures; regular seminars presented by top corporate leaders in New Zealand, such as the Vodafone New Zealand CEO, Russell Stanners. These combined experiences have provided Deep with the management tools necessary to enter into the corporate world with confidence.

By studying abroad, Deep has capitalised on the opportunity to network internationally, something which will put him in good stead when he enters the professional job market. Completing his MBM has broadened Deep's vision of the corporate world, not only at an operational level, but a strategic one too. Deep says "I hope to utilise what I have learnt here at the Waikato Management School to secure a position at a global consultancy firm."

Razel Blaza

Razel Blaza Razel Blaza has a science background. She’s worked for Scion in Rotorua, Medlab, AgResearch and the School of Biological Sciences at Auckland University, but she wanted to take her career beyond the lab so enrolled in a Waikato MBM.

"I wanted to do work that was more people-focussed and to involve myself in the commercial aspects of an organisation. I knew I'd have to do more study and the MBM fitted the bill. It allowed me to combine higher learning in the form of a masters and exposed me to a variety of management subjects in a short time."

Razel worked part time at Pathlab while she was studying. “The degree work was intensive, but the classes were small and it meant subjects were covered in depth. As a group the class became quite close and we encouraged each other during times of pressure – like when deadlines were approaching."

Razel found she was drawn to marketing, strategy and entrepreneurship, but found organisational culture, economics and sustainability interesting too. “We had a lot of time for discussion and debate, not just with classmates with lecturers too, and that helped me get a firmer grasp on the lessons and I found I became quite passionate about certain issues."

As her career changes direction, Razel would like to move into marketing, to eventually become a marketing manager or director in a science or health organisation, or perhaps in the entertainment industry. Watch this space!

 

Eline Yan

Eline YanOn her first day of study at Waikato, Eline was told she had to think and act like a business person. That set the tone for the next 15 months of study. “The programme met all my expectations. I chose Waikato’s MBM because of Waikato Management School’s good reputation and Hamilton is an easy city to live in – not too big, not to small, with easy access to Asian foodstores."

Eline came to New Zealand from Shanghai where she’d been working for a department in the multi-national market research company Nielsen. Coming to Waikato has taught me a lot, most especially how to be a good leader – what responsibilities a leader should take, how to lead teams and lead in a crisis. As I move on, I feel these new-found skills will give me a critical advantage.”

Students are required to do an action learning project – work on a real business situation. “Our group worked with the Women’s Health Department (WHD) of Waikato District Health Board. The experience was unique and I treasure it". 

“It helped me understand the culture in New Zealand organisations, how people communicate with each other in the workplace and how they perform". 

Michael Sparrow

Michael Sparrow Michael Sparrow has worked as a model, blackjack dealer and sports instructor before finding his dream career as a business analyst for Air New Zealand. 

The ex-Tauranga man had studied zoology, medicine and astronomy before realising that none of them were the right fit for him – he wanted to go into business. A few years ago Michael was working as a personal fitness trainer in Sydney for Vision Personal Training. 

He became the lead marketer for the Sydney franchise and soon decided that he wanted to start up his own personal fitness training company. After reviewing all of his options, Michael decided to study for a Master in Business and Management (MBM) degree at Waikato University’s Management School, because of its world-class reputation and Triple Crown Accreditation. “I decided to do the 12-month MBM degree to learn about all aspects of running a business, as I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of success.” 

Michael says he’s now “hooked on business” and has already made some valuable contacts in the sector. Studying at Waikato gave him the opportunity to do a management internship for Tainui Group Holdings Ltd, one of New Zealand’s largest companies with multi-million dollar investments in energy, dairy, fishing, technology, retail, tourism, housing and an inland port in Hamilton. “The skills and experience I gained from working at Tainui were invaluable. I learned a lot about interacting with a wide range of people with different ideologies and cultural values, which has proved invaluable to the job I’m in now.” 

Michael has nearly completed his master’s degree and has already landed a job as a graduate business analyst for Air New Zealand, based in Nelson. “I’ve been analysing different parts of the business from financial to on-time performance. I’ve never done business analysis before and looking back, I never thought I’d be in the job I’m in now. I’m really enjoying it and there’s a bright future ahead.” 

“Studying business and management at Waikato gave me a broad range of skills that I was able to practice and perfect through all the practical assignments we did.” 

Michael thinks the key to making the most of your university experience is to have an open mind. “Take up all the opportunities you have available to you. Don’t be too fixed on what you’re going to do after your degree. You’ll find your calling.”

Saul Wells-Lakeland

Saul Wells-Lakeland Saul Wells-Lakeland studied a Bachelor of Social Sciences. He chose to study the one-year Master of Business and Management to gain a job in the corporate environment. He’s only in the second half of the course and he’s already scored himself a full-time, graduate sales and marketing position in Auckland at RB - an international company with over 37,000 employees worldwide.

Cassandra Suemai

Cassandra Suemai

Cassandra Ane Suemai studied a Bachelor of Business Analysis and then chose to study the one-year Master of Business and Management to help progress her career. She hopes to own and manage a large hotel chain that will expand into the Pacific Islands.

Chynelle Tuhi

Chynelle Tuhi Chynelle Tuhi studied a Bachelor of Arts at Waikato. She chose to study the Master of Business and Management to compliment her existing skill set and expand her career opportunities. When she graduates, she hopes to become a manager in the agribusiness or tourism and hospitality sector.

Jeremy Tomkins

Jeremy Tomkins Jeremy Tomkins studied a conjoint Bachelor of Teaching / Bachelor of Arts and then chose to study the one-year Master of Business and Management to complement his existing skill set. He hopes to become a School Principal or Deputy Principal so he can positively influence primary and intermediate education

Anton Baker

Anton Baker Anthony Baker studied a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies. He chose to study the one-year Master of Business and Management to gain a broader understanding of business and management. After completing the degree, Anton was selected for one of two graduate positions at Zespri out of 140 applicants.

Keerthana Suresh

Keerthana Suresh Studying the MBM was a fantastic experience,” says MBM graduate Keerthana Suresh, who now living in Wellington, New Zealand. “As an international student, I felt at home and protected at Waikato Management School.” “The MBM course teaches you everything you need to start and run a business,” she says. “Each module in the programme is unique and delivered by highly knowledgeable staff. The MBM has taught me how to deliver the best to the business and transformed myself into a better communicator. I have learnt to question the cause and effect of every action in business.” 

Keerthana’s favourite part of the degree was the Action Learning Project, known as the ‘Dragon’s Den’, “as it enabled me to put everything I had learnt into practice.” “My team developed a business plan from scratch. We made international contacts and were ready to set the business up-and-running. That was an amazing experience.” “The practical experience and connections with local industry I’ve made through the MBM have been very valuable and enjoyable.” 

For her major research project, Keerthana did a four-week internship at Hamilton’s Pinnacle Midlands Health Network, where she conducted a survey of around 2,000 people. “Using the feedback from the surveys, I created a baseline to implement a new care model for patients with chronic and ongoing medical conditions.” 

Keerthana says she chose to study at Waikato Management School because of its Triple Crown Accreditation and knowledgeable academics. “The Triple Crown ensures that my MBM degree will be recognised by employers across the globe, and help me to stand out from the crowd.” “What makes Waikato a great place to study is the experienced faculty staff and the amount of attention every student receives from the academics. The university is warm and welcoming, and treats everyone equally,” she says. “The teaching and learning style at Waikato is different to India; it’s a combination of both theory and practical learning. It adds a lot of value to the knowledge that I possess now.”

“The student culture and atmosphere of Waikato Management School (WMS) is friendly and multicultural. We had people from different walks of life with different levels of experience. We were able to learn from each and every individual.” “There were a lot of networking events that took place during each semester. It was a brilliant platform for students to interact with recruiters and business personnel.” “Consider it as an investment for your future, it’s the right choice to make. You will feel at home while you’re at Waikato. 

All you need to bring with you is the right attitude towards your studies and the rest will all fall into place.” “Studying at Waikato University has been a fantastic journey and I am looking forward to starting my career with the immense knowledge provided by Waikato Management school experts.”

Lucia Liu

Lucia Liu Lucia Liu is riding high on life since completing her Master of Business and Management at Waikato. Originally from China, she is thrilled to have found a new job as an export support coordinator for Comvita, a health and beauty products manufacturer in the Bay of Plenty. “I’ve very excited to learn more about their business operations and get to know my new colleagues,” says Lucia. “Comvita is quite a famous company in China now, because they’ve opened more than 400 shops in 30 cities over there, and lots of people want to buy their manuka honey for its healing properties. China is a great market for New Zealand to export to. Because I’m a bilingual speaker, I can use my language skills to help Comvita achieve its strategic goals.” 

A former primary school teacher, Lucia came to New Zealand with her husband on a working holiday in 2013. The couple were both looking for a more relaxed lifestyle and a change of career. While Lucia’s husband has gone from being a lawyer to working as a bike mechanic, Lucia wanted to pursue a new career in business. 

Having heard about Waikato Management School’s excellent global reputation, she decided to enrol for the Master of Business and Management (MBM) programme in Hamilton, and was fortunate to be awarded the Waikato MBM Scholarship. “I didn’t have a clear picture of what the business world would be like, so it was like opening a new door for me, but I liked the idea of dealing with lots of different people and being able to solve problems.” She found the MBM programme to be “very challenging” and lots of hard work – particularly the group assignments. However, Lucia really enjoyed her time at Waikato and says she would strongly recommend the MBM to other students. It has sharpened her ability to think critically and creatively, and equipped her with lots of ‘soft skills’ such as better communication and teamwork. 

With the support of her lecturers and other staff, Lucia was also successful in establishing her own small jewellery business, by applying the management theories she had learnt in class. Her first retail store was provided rent-free on campus through ULeisure’s Student Business Experiment scheme. “When you’re a small business, you don’t try to compete with the mainstream market; you have to identify your core competencies and appeal to a niche market. I’ve travelled to many parts of the world, so I know a lot of different styles of jewellery. Instead of selling the typical ‘bling’ metal jewellery that you see in New Zealand, we use different materials such as feathers, rope and turquoise,” she says. 

Lucia is now settling into her new role at Comvita, and she is excited to be starting the next chapter of her life in New Zealand.

Blake Johnson

Blake JohnsonShortly after graduating with a Master of Business and Management at Waikato University, Blake Johnson is one step closer to landing his dream job

Blake has combined his two great passions in life - IT and business - and is now working for Fletcher Building, a manufacturer and distributor of world-leading building and construction products. The company operates in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Blake’s official title is project coordinator. He shadows and provides assistance to the senior project managers who take care of the computer infrastructure and networking for the company. The department covers everything from computer hardware, televisions, telephones and servers.

The former Hillcrest High School student says he would never have had the opportunity to work for the company without first gaining a Master in Business and Management (MBM) degree from Waikato.

“This role is an incredible opportunity for me to learn and grow. My colleagues constantly inspire me with their intelligence and strategic thinking,” says Blake.

“I’m excited to be able to use my business, management and computer science knowledge. Ultimately, I plan on becoming a senior project manager.”

Blake says IT is an exciting environment to be working in. “The use of technology is always growing and changing so it’s exciting to be keeping up with the fast pace. Information technologies have an essential role in all businesses and it’s only going to keep expanding.”

Rewind back to two years ago and Blake was finishing his computer science degree. He says he decided to undertake the Masters in Business and Management at Waikato University immediately after his undergraduate degree to complement his existing skill set and enable him to reach his career goal of becoming a senior project manager.

“The 12-month Master’s degree didn’t require me to have done any previous business study so it was the perfect option for me.”

“Broader business projects have marketing, financial and organisational impacts, and impacts based on leadership. All these aspects were covered in the course using a mix of both theory and practical activities that gave me the knowledge, skills and confidence I needed to manage any project.”

Blake’s team won the action learning project competition where they were required to create and pitch a business plan that included strategic decision-making, managing staff and stakeholder relationships, sales and marketing, and financial information in a Dragon’s Den environment.

“For me, seeing a project come to completion and watching my team grow is very rewarding, and it’s what keeps me going.”

“I’d definitely recommend the Master’s degree to anyone looking to complement their existing skills. It’s certainly helped me to become one step closer to my dream job.” 

Blake thoroughly enjoyed the Master’s degree as he says it constantly felt as though the things he was learning were relevant to the direction he wanted to go./p>

He thinks the key to making the most of your university experience is to build and develop networks within the industry.

“Seek the opportunity to get involved with an external businesses whether that’s through an internship or work experience. It’ll help tie everything that you’ve learnt together.”

Blake is a shining example of how hard work, determination and right qualification, you can become closer to achieving your career dreams.

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